Problem Solving

For businesses, problems are a daily occurrence. There are menial problems, such as running out of printer paper, and underlying problems, such as an unproductive employee base—both affect business performance. Companies that get bogged down in handling problems inefficiently risk falling behind their competitors. Incorporating effective problem-solving strategies and resources into your business is necessary to ensure the stability and health of your company. When businesses have a strategic approach to identifying, tracking, and communicating issues, they are more likely to be successful. Here are some problem-solving strategies to consider. 

Incorporate Data Analytics Platforms Into Your Company

There is no better way to understand the problems faced by your business than to harness the power of data insights. Today, businesses can incorporate data analytics platforms that not only provide essential information on their markets and consumers, but also on the productivity of their employees. Using data can allow businesses to improve their product and optimize efficiency. For example, a transportation service could use data gathered from transportation monitoring to identify ways to improve their services. 

Use SWOT Analysis to Identify Problems and Solutions

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis is a great problem-solving resource for businesses. Using SWOT analysis on a regular basis allows businesses to regularly check in and identify potential problems and develop solutions. Businesses that are constantly evaluating their strengths and weaknesses are more likely to be able to effectively problem-solve. 

Approach Business Problems Using Design Thinking

It’s no secret that the majority of business meetings are unproductive—more common than not, professionals come together to solve a problem and nothing is accomplished. Design thinking has become increasingly popular as a problem-solving method. Many large, innovative companies use the paradigm to drive decision-making. Design thinking draws on critical and creative approaches to problem-solving and encourages business leaders to ideate solutions to business issues or consumer needs. This style of thinking differs from other traditional methods of problem-solving in that it is centered around the solution rather than the problem itself. Additionally, design thinking requires companies to have diverse groups of people involved in the problem-solving process. 

Identify Metrics to Track Progress of Business Objectives

Identifying problems is one thing, tracking their resolution is another. Every good problem-solving strategy includes key metrics to track overall progress. Before you can dive into enacting a business strategy, you need to define measures of success. As a company, you should create a few key KPI's (key performance indicators) to keep at the forefront of your decision-making and track the success of different business strategies. KPI's can benefit a business by strengthening employee morale, monitoring company performance, and fostering business growth. 

Implement Effective and Transparent Lines of Communication

The primary reason the traditional corporate meeting doesn’t work is a lack of open communication. Many people don’t want to speak-up in meetings for fear of risking their job or upsetting a higher level executive. This becomes an obstacle in business problem-solving because when people don’t engage in conversations of conflict, it can be timely to identify the underlying cause of a problem. In effective business problem-solving, company leaders establish a safe environment for transparent lines of communication. When employees feel safe to share their opinions, companies can efficiently address issues causing poor business performance. 

The business landscape is competitive and fast-paced. In order to be successful, it is important for companies to be prepared for the problems that come their way. Companies that lack the necessary strategies to handle business problems can waste a lot of time and resources on a wrong turn. Conversely, companies that intimately understand the problems of their consumer and business will push ahead. Businesses that effectively problem-solve are adaptable and organized—they understand the important elements of successful thinking and planning. Implementing problem-solving strategies into your business structure will ensure that you have the key metrics and thinking methods you need to solve problems in an efficient manner.